REALTORS® Are Good Neighbors

     The Tennessee REALTORS® Good Neighbor Award recognizes members who make an exceptional contribution to their community through volunteer work. Presented annually, the award is designed to celebrate the honoree’s contributions, to inspire fellow REALTORS® in their own volunteer engagement, and to highlight the many positive ways our members are helping to make Tennessee stronger and more livable.

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     This year, we are pleased to present Janelle Douglas with our 2024 Good Neighbor Award! Janelle founded eMpowerment Inc., a nonprofit organization that works directly with schools, local businesses, community leaders and entrepreneurs to help students fulfill their postsecondary education and career goals through college prep classes, scholarship applications, university tours, and awarding an annual recipient with an eMpowerment Inc Scholarship.

     The mission of eMpowerment Inc. is to support students of color in the southeast quadrant of Metro Nashville, Davidson County by providing them with the tools, guidance and resources they need to overcome obstacles and reach their full potential.  We achieve this by providing basic resources needed for student success, facilitating college prep education, offering early exposure opportunities to various career fields and reducing the financial barrier students face through the administration of scholarships and awards.

Tennessee REALTORS® are passionate about giving back to their communities. Here is a look at the many ways our members are getting creative to make a difference in their communities. 

2024 REALTOR® Volunteer Days

Memphis Area Association of REALTORS®

Memphis Area Association REALTORS Commercial Council held its 14th Annual MAAR Commercial Council Make-A-Wish Golf Tournament. With the support of 170 sponsors and 144 players, it was a booming success raising over $113,433 for the Make-A-Wish Foundation which creates life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses after the tournament was a celebration dinner where they were able to grant 12-year-old Rilynn her wish of traveling to the Mall of Aerica with her parents and little brother.
This golf tournament is just one of the many ways MAAR gives back to the Memphis area and shows its support and passion for the local area.

Great Smoky Mountains Association of REALTORS®

Golfing for a good cause, the Great Smoky Mountains Association of REALTORS® members teamed up with the Mountian Hope Good Shepherd Clinic, raising over $67,000!
     Organized by Mountain Hope Good Shepherd Clinic, the GSMAR helped facilitate this golf tournament which brought together REALTOR® members, community members, and sponsors for a day of friendly competition and fundraising.
     “We are grateful to GSMAR, the volunteers, participants, and sponsors for supporting this event. Our friends from GSMAR represent a group of serving hearts who understand the value of making the gift of health a priority for all who live or work in Sevier County,” Deborah Murph, Executive Director of Mountain Hope Good Shepherd Clinic.
     The Mountain Hope Good Shepherd Clinic is a community clinic in Sevier County that provides quality healthcare to the medically uninsured.

“The Great Smoky Mountains Association of Realtors® was delighted to be able to participate in this event that helps so many in our community. Our contributions to this event are always greatly multiplied which helps even more. Helping others is the heartbeat of what Realtors stand for. It truly is who we are!” 2023 GSMAR President, Kim Shinlever.
     The proceeds will directly contribute to expanding the Mountain Hope Good Shepherd Clinic’s reach, enhancing its medical resources, and ensuring that vital healthcare services remain accessible to those most need it.
     “We are honored to have been asked to assist with this event again. The Great Smoky Mountains Association of Realtors® wants to support our communities in as many ways as possible. What better way to do that, than to work with an organization such as Mountain Hope Good Shepherd Clinic,” said GSMAR CEO, Rebecca Marcum.
     The success of this event is a testament to the dedication of the Sevier County residents and GSMAR to make a positive impact on the community they call home. 


East Tennessee REALTORS®

The East Tennessee REALTORS® prides itself on being involved in the East Tennessee community. June 4-10, 2023, the Association participated in eight different projects across Knox, Blount, and Loudon counties. Over 80 members and association staff contributed 322 hours of community service. 

Sunday, June 4 – Open Streets Knoxville
Monday, June 5 – Mission of Hope
Tuesday, June 6 – Habitat for Humanity
Wednesday, June 7 – Second Harvest Food Bank of East Tennessee
Thursday, June 8 – Young-Williams Animal Shelter
Friday, June 9 – Shangri-La Therapeutic Academy of Riding (STAR)
Saturday, June 10 – SoKno Pride

For well over a century, the East Tennessee  REALTORS® has served the real estate interests of our members and community. Being active in the community, and supporting those with and without suitable housing, regardless of nationality, race, gender, or creed, is who we are. Realtors create and sustain community and it is our duty to invest in it. 


Clarksville Association of REALTORS®

 Members of the Clarksville Association of REALTORS® gather monthly to give back. In April, CAR members were invited to volunteer at YaiPak Outreach in Clarksville, a local organization that serves the under-resourced and whose mission is to “meet those that are neglected, hurting, or afflicted where they are in order to provide support, comfort, and resources aimed at promoting positive life changes and reminding them that they are loved and important.” At YaiPak, the REALTOR® members were able to help in the warehouse sorting donated goods. 
     YaiPak was an easy choice for CAR’s Helping Hands Committee because of YaiPak’s huge impact on the Clarksville community and beyond. YAI stands for “You Are Important,” and they do an amazing job reaching members of the community that are in need of basic necessities and love.
     Next, CAR REALTORS® will be taking part in the REALTORS® Are Good Neighbors Volunteer Days by returning to the Montgomery County Animal Shelter where they are frequent volunteers. There, they will be walking dogs and helping maintain the facility on June 5th. 


Greater Chattanooga Association of REALTORS®

 Greater Chattanooga REALTORS® utilized a NAR grant to bring local businesses together with their REALTOR® members in the name of sustainability with their Sustainability Showcase. The showcase was a come-and-go event featuring lunch for members, a prize drawing, and free hard drive and paperwork shredding by Shred-It.

     This event acted as an educational opportunity for the nearly 80 members who attended to learn about the vast sustainability efforts and resources available in the Chattanooga area and in turn share this knowledge with their clients. “It was truly eye-opening to get these businesses together in one place to see the resources and the long-term benefits these practices can have in our area,” shared Greater Chattanooga REALTORS® 2023 President, Steven Sharpe.

    In addition to showcasing over a dozen area-wide sustainability businesses, Habitat ReStore was on location accepting furniture and other large item donations which benefit families in need in the Chattanooga area. 


Lakeway Area Association of REALTORS®

     We all know someone whose been affected by cancer, that’s how Lakeway Area REALTORS®found inspiration to put the treat in TREATment for cancer patients at Morristown Regional Cancer Center.
Erin Davis, Lakeway Area Association of REALTORS member, shared her battle with cancer on social media and need for supplies for other patients undergoing cancer treatment at Morristown Regional Cancer Center. Laura Dickerson took action, calling on the Community Awareness Committee Chair, Van Masengill. 
     From there they went to work collecting snacks, blankets, hand sanitizers, books and magazines, bottled water, hand lotion, lip balm and coloring books/ pencils. 

     This initiative had great participation from their members using their offices and the Lakeway Area Association of REALTORS® office as convenient collection locations throughout their community. Over six weeks, they collected multiple carloads of supplies and treats for the cancer patients of Morristown Regional Cancer Center. 
     As a committee, they felt this was a worthwhile cause in their community due to the fact that nearly everyone has been affected by cancer, either personally or through a family member or friend.



On April 4 and 5, Sumner REALTORS® hopped down the bunny trail, across the county. Led by Brian Stewart, Community Outreach Committee Chair and the hardworking Committee, Sumner REALTORS® members collected, stuffed, and delivered over 3,500 Easter eggs! According to Stewart, “It’s something our Association does to help the less fortunate kids realize Easter and give back to our community.” Members then held egg hunts at three government-assisted childcare centers in Gallatin and Hendersonville. “We have been doing this for quite a few years,” says Darla Nickens Hunley, 2023 President of Sumner REALTORS®, “Seeing the children and teachers have so much fun during those two days actually makes this one of our Association’s very favorite events for its members to participate in.”


East Tennessee REALTORS®

 On Tuesday, April 18, the East Tennessee REALTORS® (ETR) kicked off its Rooted in Community program. The presentation started with a welcome from ETR CEO, Lyle Irish, followed by Jeff Fyke, Communications Director for ETR, who spoke about the tree-planting initiative, as a local extension of the National Association of REALTORS® tree-planting initiative that was announced last September. Jeff then introduced the partnership between ETR and Dogwood Arts. Sherry Jenkins, Executive Director, and Vicki Baumgartner, Program Manager for Trails and Gardens, were both on-hand from Dogwood Arts and spoke about the nonprofit. A history of the organization was given as well as a description of Dogwood Arts’s Bazillion Blooms program.

     “The goal and purpose of the Bazillion Blooms program,” Baumgartner said, “is to beautify our landscape by planting a dogwood in every yard.” Jeff gave details about how East Tennessee REALTORS® purchased 500 dogwood trees from Dogwood Arts and how members can purchase these trees for only $25 from the association. “Realtors® create community,” Fyke said when asked why the association was partnering with Dogwood Arts and planting trees in the Knoxville region. “Contractors and builders build houses. Families turn those houses into homes. Realtors® connect the dots and create community. It is our job as an association to ensure that our members have the tools and resources to do just that.” Lyle Irish and Jeff Fyke then presented a check for $10,000 to Dogwood Arts for the purchase of 500 dogwood trees.

     A dogwood tree, planted earlier in the month, was commemorated and a focal point for the presentation. Members of the Community Involvement Committee were present at the presentation, as well as Realtor® and Affiliate members. Association members will be able to purchase trees (2′-4′ in height) through November, and will be able to pick them up at East Tennessee REALTORS® before Thanksgiving. Trees will be dormant and will need to be planted within a week of pickup.